Zika health emergency now declared in Broward

Posted at 1:20 PM, Feb 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-04 19:01:10-05

Gov. Rick Scott has added Broward County the list of Florida counties under a health emergency due to the Zika virus.

Broward joins Miami-Dade, Lee, Hillsborough and Santa Rosa counties.

The Governor said there are 3 new cases of the Zika virus in the state for a total of 12 and that all are travel-related.

One of the new cases is in Broward County

“The way I think about it, we have to ensure, just like a hurricane, we have to ensure that Florida is safe. Just like in a hurricane, what we always say to ourselves is we’re going to prepare for the worst and hope for the best and we’re going to do everything we can to stay ahead of the Zika Virus,” Governor Scott said at a Thursday afternoon news conference.

He is asking the CDC for more Zika test kits so the state can test individuals, especially pregnant women and new mothers, who have traveled to affected areas and had symptoms of the virus.

The Zika virus is linked to brain deformities in babies and is causing concern among public health officials worldwide. The virus is primarily spread through mosquito bites, but investigators had been exploring the possibility it could be sexually transmitted.

U.S. health officials say a person in Texas became infected with Zika through sex, in the first case of the illness being transmitted within the United States.

To learn more about the symptoms, treatment and transmission of Zika, as well as information for travelers click here.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.